Tag Archives: personal

The Long Trip Home

In the next few weeks I crossed much of the west. From North Dakota. Down to Arizona. And west to California.

News was breaking and I wanted to see. In North Dakota the river was flooding. So I made my way there to write a story. When I got there I spoke with some local news teams. I had hoped to write something freelance. But it didn’t work out. Being a new reporter I imagined things would come to me in a way I soon discovered was wrong.

I did get a Labor Ready job though. It was with the city of Moorehead. Inside a large warehouse I helped stack sandbags to be delivered. I worked with the city for a number of days. At the end they suggested I apply for a job. It was a good area. An area I could see myself going back to live. But not at the time.

The flooding had caused havoc along a long part of the river. This was the Red River of the North. Not to be confused with the one along northern Texas border. This one runs north along the Dakotas and Minnesota. This being one of the flattest parts of the country. When the river flooded, it spread out fast.

While I was in Fargo I slept in my car. There was an all-night coffee shop. It had free wifi, so this is where I used the internet. In general Fargo was a friendly college town.

While in the area I took a side trip into Minnesota. The Mississippi River begins not far from Fargo. And I wanted to see the headwaters of the great river. To see its humble origin. By this time I had given up on writing a news story. And my Labor Ready job was winding down. It looked like it would be time for me to leave soon. I couldn’t be so close and not make the trip.

Finding the birth place of the river was easy. Up a small paved path from a parking lot was a small lake. The outflow of this lake was maybe 15 feet wide. But if you dropped a twig in it, the twig could float all the way to the ocean. It would go down the longest river in the country. When you think of how important the river is to our nation. And how long, and wide it becomes. It enters the world in a obscure park, when I was there there were few visitors.

After this short trip I started back west. I wanted to make a stop at Mount Rushmore. I’d been there before. But I wanted to see it again. It was a bit of a race against time. To get there before it got dark. But I made it, speeding across the Dakotas. There isn’t much to see in these states. But seeing Mount Rushmore is an experience. And I saw the monument to Crazy Horse off in the distance and fog while driving. But it was dark, and the park was closed.

After stopping in Wyoming I started back for California. I had graduated but hadn’t done a ceremony. Since I had free time I wanted to be there to walk with my friends. When I got back to Arcata I thought I would stay for the week. But then I got a short-term job and fell in love in a long-term way. So plans changed.

There was an adventure along my path back to Arcata. From Wyoming I drove south to Boulder. It is such a magical place for me. I spent a couple days in town. And I hiked to the top of the Flat Irons. I didn’t plan on staying in town. Though I always think about staying every time I visit. One day I may move to Boulder and stay to live for a while. But this wasn’t the time to think about such a move. In the past I’d taken the northern route from Boulder to California. This time I took the southern route.

It went through the high mountains, and along route 70. I drove right through Vail, a place where I would soon be living. Though I didn’t know it at the time. I got off the freeway and drove along the route I drove many times later in my life. The mountains are amazing, still covered in snow at the tops. I couldn’t have gone to Yellowstone on this trip because of the weather. But the road through the Rockies was clear.

Moving out of Colorado into Utah I found an amazing landscape. There are few words to really tell people what it looked like in front of me. It looked like an alien landscape. It was orange. The rolling land was broken by deep canyons. The colour made me feel like I was on another planet. Like Mars, but it wasn’t red. The ground had little life. Looking around I couldn’t imagine I was still on earth. It was beautiful in a way which I’d never imagined. I had no clue such a place even existed. All my trips through Utah were in the north. And it has its own beauty. But it is flat and grey, and white. Nothing like the striking deep colours of the San Rafael Reef. This magical place was formed under the ground. After being pushed to the surface it was eroded by many floods. These formed the deep canyons and mesas of the area.

Coming west my goal was Arcata. But I had yet another short adventure.

I went to visit my family in Stockton. I’d talked to mother about a trip to see my brother in Arizona. I asked if she could afford to pay for the gas, and I would drive. We took the route through the desert of Nevada. Because I love Nevada. Even though I got a speeding ticket on this trip. It was a smooth drive down. We stopped for the night a couple hours from Phoenix. It was a cheap little hotel in a small town. The bed was comfy enough for me to sleep. Even if the towels didn’t match each other. Mother pointed this fact out.

Once in Phoenix we spent a couple days with my brother. This was the first time in a number of years I’d seen my brother. He was well. We took a hike on one of the mountains in town. But it was hot there, and Mother wanted to return. On the drive back we stopped at the Grand Canyon. I’d also been here a couple years before with my father. I wasn’t sure if Mother had seen the canyon. Either way it seemed like a waste to drive so near and not stop.

The good news about the return trip was I didn’t get a tickets. Some of those small towns have slow speed limits. But we also made a stop in Reno on the way home. Mother’s sisters live there – and yes I know they are my aunts. But I don’t know them at all. So, they are my mother’s sisters. After visiting for a couple hours we made our way home. We drove along the scenic Lake Tahoe.

After leaving Mother in Stockton I made my way home to Arcata. I think we may have many homes in this world. If this is true, my heart will always be at home in Arcata. And Santa Cruz, Yosemite, Boulder.

Like I said. My plan was to walk in the ceremony. Then leave town. And yes my plans got turned around and I stayed for about two years.

Personality Test

Personality Disorder Test Results

Paranoid |||||||||||||||||| 73%
Schizoid |||||||||||||||||| 71%
Schizotypal |||||||||||||||| 70%
Antisocial |||||||||||| 49%
Borderline |||||||||||||||| 67%
Histrionic |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Narcissistic |||||||||||||||| 68%
Avoidant |||||||||||||||| 70%
Dependent |||||||||||||||||| 71%
Obsessive-Compulsive |||||||||||||||||| 80%

Take Free Personality Disorder TestPersonality Test by SimilarMinds.com

My First Real Job

I’ve never been more hopeful. I had a degree and I was ready to find a job. It didn’t take long either. It was a bit of a shock. I had a theory about getting experience working in small papers. I’d go out to the middle of the country, where there would be fewer job seekers. So the first job I landed was in Wyoming.

It is funny in a way. The job wasn’t far from a small town I had visited on my travels. Where I lived and worked was bigger. But not much, it was still small. But I am getting ahead of myself.

I located the job through a website. Applying for a job in the middle of the country was hard. But I knew I could do it, because of my travels. The first step after landing the job was buying a car. The car I purchased and still own is a Santa Fe. I got it from a dealership in Stockton. And it has been a good fit for me. But first I had to fit all my things into it for the move. It turned into a rolling brick.

Since I had a drive ahead of me anyway, and some time, I made a few stops. One was in Santa Cruz where I still have dear friends. I was off on the next adventure in my life and I wanted to share. One friend in Santa Cruz has been there for a lot of my adventures: at least in spirit. And I didn’t know how long I would be gone.

The next stop was in Stockton to see family. When I drove out of the state I imagined it could be years before I returned. But it wasn’t. The drive itself didn’t get interesting until halfway through Nevada. It started to snow. And I didn’t have chains. And I didn’t care. Because I wasn’t going to stop. It was getting dark and traffic was light. As I drove the snow got deeper.

Entering Utah there were a few trunks which had slid off the road. Someone hadn’t made it where they were going. At some point I stopped and walking around in the snow it was clear it was deep. In the gas station parking lot it was about six inches. And there was a good base of ice. But I pushed ahead and got back on the road.

As I drove through the night it kept snowing. And I assume it was getting deeper. Passing through Salt Lake City was fine. But the mountains to the east were a bit scary. This was the first point I felt could be dangerous. But I had come this far and didn’t want to stop. It may have been worse to stop. I only recall seeing one car over night. It was a utility truck which passed me a couple times. Each time driving even faster than I.

The next morning I entered Wyoming. As it got light the snow cleared. And I started to drive faster. But I found out soon enough I road wasn’t cleared yet. Driving through Rock Springs I got cut off by a semi-driver. I braked too hard and spun around toward the side of the road. Clever driving and good luck meant I didn’t go off the road. But I stopped facing the wrong direction.

My arrival in Douglas was in the late morning. I’d already lined up a place to live and had to get the key from work.

After landing the job I asked if they would run an ad for me. Just stating I was looking for a place to live. Soon I got a call from someone. They told me they lived in a duplex and the other unit was empty. They were not the landlord, but gave me the number. When I contacted the landlord though he had no clue. “Empty unit,” he said shocked, “which one.” After talking about it he agreed to check it out. And if it was empty I could rent it. I never did meet him, I paid rent by putting it into his account at the bank.

The job itself was so new for me. It was my first newsroom and I don’t feel like I started out fast. But I was starting to get my feet under me. Then I got laid off. There may have been two factors. One was a bank stopped running an ad. And because of this they couldn’t afford my salary. My $10 an hour salary. But, a second factor was a small error I had made in a story.

I had been covering the county government. The county chose to use a different bank for its business. One of the reasons given was the other bank was bigger, and the person talked about the banks deposits. When I wrote the story I failed to contact the bank the county had quit using. This was the same bank which dropped the ad. And while I was told it wasn’t in response. My editor did say, “it probably didn’t help.” The complaint they had when contacting me was simple and true. In the store the county official had put the bank is some doubt. And I should have contacted the old bank to let them counter.

It was a learning experience.

Wyoming is a beautiful state. I wasn’t there long enough. The weather was cold and snowy. One day it snowed so much while I was at work, I walked home. It wasn’t far. It was easier than trying to dig out my car. In this case it was a rental. My car was in the shop after I backed into a small wall. Another time the weather called for snow. I woke up early and went out to clear the snow. But there wasn’t any.

Going back inside, I relaxed. Taking my time I ate breakfast, watched the news and got ready. About 30 minutes later I walked outside to nine inches of snow on my car. I was aghast. And it wasn’t just snowy. It got cold. One morning I remember trying to get the ice off my window. But as I scraped one side. I could look over and see the side already scrapped re-freezing.

There are miles of back roads in the middle of the country. Miles and miles of dirt roads. And I love to drive on them. My car works great because it is small enough for some pretty slim roads. But it has good clearance. And it is light. Once I was on a dirt road going at a good pace. I zoomed through some mud. Then some snow patches. And then I came up to a turn. The snow and ice weren’t a problem if I could just keep moving through them. They weren’t large. But this turn was covered in deep snow. I got stuck. No cellphone reception. And the idea of walking miles to the road wasn’t appealing. But, since my car is light I was able to dig the snow out of the way. Then I pushed my car out of the snow.

Douglas is a small town. Supported by coal and ranching. It claims to be the home of the Jackalope. It has a Safeway, and wanted a Walmart. Many people talk about Walmart and the death of small town business. But people around Douglas shopped at Walmart already. They just drove further to Casper.

When I moved to Wyoming I believed I was getting my life started. I changed my address and my phone number. My old cell service wouldn’t cover where I lived, so I switched. I got a TV and purchased TV, phone and internet services. When I lost my job it was like a giant balloon deflating. I felt defeated. It may have not been my fault. But I was broke. I was alone. And without a job I had few options. My things went into storage in Cheyenne. It sits on the cross country interstate. The next step in my life was a mystery to me. But I imagined I would get another job. And wanted my things to be easy to pick up. But it was also easy to drop off.

Maybe if I had been in a larger town I would have stayed. Maybe a lot of things could have been done different. But I just gave up. Really I didn’t even look for another job. And I didn’t think I’d be able to afford my rent. Living in a car in the cold of Wyoming doesn’t work like it does in California.

Leaving Douglas I was off on a new adventure. North Dakota was flooding and I wanted to be near the action.

So this is 40

And look what I’ve done.
Nine states behind me
and I may have just begun.

And this is 40
for better or worse
can’t stop the time
but it doesn’t have to be a curse.

And yes I’m 40
I know I’ve had fun
there have been near and dear ones
both old and some young
And some are still with me
others are not
while people I haven’t met yet
will become dear to me too.

Life is begining
new each day,
a fresh sun, a fresh you
a chance to be love.
Aging is over, if you want it.
Just live in the moment
and never be old.
Aging is over
because we are alive
until we are not
this is all that we got.

Don’t look for a hero,
or hope for the future.
The hero is you
and the hope is now.

Thank you to all my friends who have made the last 20 years of my life an amazing adventure.

People of Humboldt

My years at Humboldt were full of people. Some of them I recall well. Others I have slim memories of now.

Before I lived with Rose, she had lived with Heather. And I met her through Rose. She was also a student and cute. No cute is not the right word, she was hot. But I got to know her over the time I was in Arcata and we became friends. It was through her I got to know other circus people. Heather and the Humboldt Circus crew were fun in the way I always wanted to be fun. But could never allow myself.

Another woman from the circus was Aryana. She was also beautiful. Like Heather she was creative and fun. They seemed to emit joy. Like the sun shines and stars twinkle. Just a part of their nature. I’d never known people who were so natural and happy. Later as part of the circus crew I met and got to know Teri. For a brief moment I had a crush on her. But she was younger, and had a boyfriend. But we are all still friends, on Facebook at least.

Following the circus path. There was Shea Free Love. When I think of him I think of his work in town. He did shows at the Farmers’ Market. And while he worked with many of the Circus Club students. He had graduated soon after I arrived on campus. Another magical man in the Arcata performer family was Shantaram. I met him on campus talking to Tony Snow. I was amazed by his card tricks. He lived in Arcata and owned a business.

Moving along from the circus to the other circus on campus. Tony Snow had been the student body president. I believe it was in 2006. Later I talked to him about his term. He said I didn’t understand the events. So I will just say it wasn’t an easy time for him. But Tony is a great person. The kind of person who has a charm. It makes him a natural people person. And in my opinion gives him a strong potential in politics. As a student covering campus government I was lost. Many times he helped me to understand.

A good friend of his was Noelle. I was supposed to talk to her for my CASA story. But in the end I had more sources than I needed. But I did work with her on a number of campus governance stories. And for a short time after graduating we were friends. I feel like I made a mistake with her. Well, maybe mistake isn’t the right word. We take many paths through life. And when we look back it is easy to think how another would be better. But we don’t know. For a moment there appeared to be a path for us. But I was scared. When I was working on the paper she was in campus politics. One of the sane voices on campus. She also helped me a lot to understand events and players.

At the end of my first year on campus there was a big election mess. Jason had been put on the ballot. But right before the election it had been declared he couldn’t hold office. Doubts were raised. Some wanted a new election. But this wasn’t affordable. Jason was someone I respected. But I often didn’t agree with him. He was a friendly person. Just on many issues we held different views. He was the person with the 9-11 Truth signs. The one pushing for pot to be legal. Early in the summer he took a trip to Boston. I’m not going to pretend to know what happened on the plane. But he made national news when he was arrested. Police claim he put stickers in the bathroom. And he wore a shirt comparing Bush to Hitler. He was flying out of Boston. The same airport as three of the 9-11 airplanes. In the end I believe in Jason. The world needs people like Jason. People not afraid to stand up and say what they believe. Because he may or may not be crazy. But sometimes the crazy people get things right. They can see things our sane minds do not.

The person who won the election was Sofia. A woman of classic beauty. I found her deeply attractive at once. Over the summer we talked. And I had a huge crush on her, for a moment. We sat in my apartment and talked until the sun came up. She is a very smart woman: she will do much with her life. But her time in office wasn’t easy either. After it got started things began to calm. We remained friends through the semester. And stayed in touch about events. Once she shared a bit of info about a reporter at a meeting. I asked him about it later. He was always confused how I even knew. But I didn’t cover her time in office. I never told anyone we were friends, and clearly couldn’t say I had a crush on her. But I stayed away to be honest and fair. Like Tony, Sofia has a magical charm.

One person not in student government was Jerilyn. She was an odd one for Humboldt. A supporter of Sarah Palin. She came to my notice my second year on the paper. Her group has posted a memorial to the troops. It was in the library and soon a counter was posted by Jason. I loved her for having a strong spirit. You had to be strong to be at Humboldt and not be liberal. She was also a pretty woman. We talked a few times about politics. And she always made sense. Though I don’t know I always agreed with her. She was another of the people I knew was going some place in life. Now I wish I could call her and discuss events.

And lastly but not leastly was Crystal. She was another of the amazing women in student governance. I don’t recall her exact role. But I know we talked a lot. She was close friends with Noelle. I always liked her for being bold. We were all students on campus. But at times it felt like they were already on their path. And I was just watching and hoping to find mine. Crystal is one I remember for her smile. Her courage and her work for the campus.

I think I could write a whole book about my Facebook friends. It would be 180 chapters long. Of course some chapters would be longer. But there is no space to write about all the people who touched me. And I know I’ve missed people. If I missed you in this short chapter I am sorry.

Where is the time

I keep thinking at some point in the future I will have more time. But this point never seems to come. Will it be tomorrow? In this case I doubt it. But maybe on the day after, maybe. I just want enough time to sleep, go to the gym and write as much as I like. Is this a crazy request? Anyway, now is also not the moment I have time.

Free Thought

It is late. And I thought I would just write for a while. Not a horoscope. Maybe there will be time in the stars for the stars tomorrow. I used to write so much about stars. Not those stars. The other stars. The ones who crash their cars while trying to chase down personal assistants.
Baby Girl is resting here. She is always so calm and sweet. I got her some different food, which she doesn’t seem to like as much. But she is eating it, and I’ll remember not to buy it again.
I actually feel like I am in a good space in life right now. Of course there are many things which need to change. But there is much good too. I have some good friends, which is something I haven’t always had. And changes at work look like they might be good for me. There has been talk about a number of jobs becoming available which I could fill. And they would all be a little more pay and out of the deli. There is really only one reason I want out of the deli. But I am making an effort to not talk poorly about people. Because I don’t know where other people are in life. Some were never taught better. Some are young and will change as they grow. I know I have developed as person and a worker as I have gotten older. Don’t call me old yet though. So, the best choice is to just leave it alone.
It is almost 2 a.m. and I am already thinking about dreamland. I get to sleep and sleep and sleep for the first night in many tonight. And let me tell you I could really use the sleep. It has been a long week, and kind of stressful. But a good week as well. I think there is reason to believe things are going to get better soon.
But I wanted to write before bed. It has been so long since I have put any words of value in this space. I don’t even know if I can count the horoscopes as words of value. Tomorrow I will be going to the library, so I will be doing a post there and I hope to have time to do a tarot post and then an astrology post. There are still two novels in the process of being written which I haven’t added to lately. And I will, soonish. But tomorrow is my only day off this week. And I don’t want to stress myself out too much. I want to enjoy the day a little. I mean yes, I enjoy writing. But what I learned from news is anything you enjoy is less fun when you feel pressured to do it. So, I don’t plan to pressure myself too much tomorrow.
I do miss news and would love to move back to a news job. If I move up at Walmart it would make the pay situation harder to justify in terms of taking a news job. But maybe at some point in the future the right job will come along. I have to keep the door open and an ear to the ground – as they say.
Okay. this might be enough. I really just want to sleep for days right now. And dream lovely dreams about girls and mountains. All the best dreams I have are about either girls or mountains or both.

My time

I’ve been spending more time at the gym with a co-worker. This has meant less time to write. Right now I am up past my bedtime we could say: I need to wake up early tomorrow. So good night and sweet dreams to all. I hope to have news which will mean a good change in my schedule soon.

Thirty interesting facts about me (You try it!)

Thirty interesting facts about me:

1) I do not eat meat. I have been vegetarian for years. In college I did a project for my ethics class. And what started as a short term change became a life choice. I eat dairy  and eggs, but not much.

2) I have lived in eight states. I was going to make them each a point. But it felt like cheating. They are in order: California, Oregon, New York, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas and Washington.

3) But I have been to Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. (32 states)

4) I lived for two years in Yosemite, the longest time I spent at the same address in my adult life.

5) I am trying to learn Spanish and French.

6) I’ve also been to Mt. Rushmore, Niagara Falls, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Mt. St. Helen’s, Mt. Rainier, Lake Tahoe and the headwaters of the Mississippi.

7) My first job was at a sporting clay’s course. My worst job at a flower farm in Arcata. I’ve worked for six different newspapers. I’ve done temporary jobs like cleaning a court building, or re-stacking sandbags and tearing down a burned building in Manhattan.

8) I was raised Christian. But if I had to choose a religion now it would be Hinduism: vaisnava.

9) I have a sweet cat. She has lived with me since we met at a friends house. This was years ago. But she still reminds me of my friend.

10) I like reading Russian novels, War and Peace, Anna Karenina, etc.

11) I’ve been tracking all my spending for a couple years now.

12) When I lived in Boulder I made money doing Tarot readings. Then I worked as a phone psychic when I moved to Portland in 1999.

13) I’ve lived in the Portland area three times. The most of any area.

14) I lived on the street in Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Berkeley. Then when I moved to Portland the first time. But I also lived in my car when I moved back to Arcata in 2009.

15) I enjoy hitch-hiking.

16) Though I’ve never lived in Boulder. I’ve visited it the most of any other city.

17) I have one brother and one sister, but also one sister-in-law, and three sisters in spirit. And a couple street sister’s I will probably never see again.

18) Since I was young I have loved Madonna.

19) My favorite movie is Tiger and the Snow: favorite book is The Rebel, by Albert Camus: favorite song is My Moment by Rebecca Black.

20) I enjoy my job at Walmart. It is the longest job I have ever had in my life.

21) When not dreaming of being a writer, I am dreaming of being a fashion designer.

22) I’ve been going to the gym each week for over two years.

23) I haven’t voted for a Democrat since Bill Clinton. But, I’ve never voted for a Republican. I get more libertarian as I get older.

24) I have a small book collection. But also a collection of re-usable bags, sweatshirts and hats. Mostly from places I have lived or visited.

25) The only country I’ve been to outside the United States is Canada. (Which is another country, not outside America)

26) I don’t smoke or drink, or do any drugs. I find most television to be boring.

27) This list was hard for me to make because I don’t think of myself as being interesting.

28) I think often of moving to Eureka, Nevada.

29) For three months I lived in New York City.

30) My favorite water is VOSS water. Yes, I have a favorite water and it isn’t cheap.